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Hutcheon, Linda >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/9502

Title: Double Talking: Essays on Verbal and Visual Ironies in Contemporary Canadian Art and Literature
Authors: Hutcheon, Linda
Keywords: Canadian literature
visual arts
Issue Date: 1992
Publisher: ECW Press
Citation: Hutcheon, Linda. Double Talking: Essays on Verbal and Visual Ironies in Contemporary Canadian Art and Literature. Toronto: ECW Press, 1992.
Abstract: Are we living through an "irony epidemic"? In March in the mass media as well as in what we like to call "high art" and the academy, there has been a lot of talk about irony lately. Why? After all, irony is nothing new; it has been around for a long time, if Quintilian and Cicero are to be believed (see too Gaunt; Good; Green). Some people blame (and that is the appropriate verb, given the tone of most commentary) the rise of what has been labeled "postmodernism"; others simply point out that irony is a popular fin-de-siècle trope and that the twentieth century is merely poised to go out on the same note upon which it came in. But either view neglects the important changes in the iue of that trope over the last hundred years. One of the major changes has been the shift in the usage (and therefore meaning) of irony, from the idea of it as an absurdist, fundamentally pessimistic, and detached vision of existence (see Glicksberg) to the notion of irony as a more positive mode of artistic expression with renewed power as an engaged critical force, that is to say, as a rhetorical and structural strategy of resistance and opposition. In other words, irony today is neither trivial nor trivializing, despite some Marxist critics' contentions to the contrary (see Jameson; T. Eagleton, "Capitalism"). As Italo Calvino once reminded us: "there is such a thing as a lightness of thoughtfulness, just as we all know that there is a lightness of frivolity" (I o) - and the two should not be confused.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/9502
ISBN: 1550221396
Appears in Collections:Hutcheon, Linda

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